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March 4, 2017

The Morning After: Weekend Edition

by John_A

Letter from the Editor

It’s been an exceptionally busy week in the world of technology, as Engadget had teams of editors in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, and in San Francisco covering the Game Developer’s Conference. At MWC, we saw all the new phones, including a couple of blasts from the past by Nokia and Blackberry. But amidst all the Androids everywhere, Mat Smith was on a quest to find the future of Windows Phone. As you might expect, it’s not so bright.

Meanwhile, things are really looking up at Nintendo, where the company’s new Switch console has Devindra Hardawar swooning over its innovative design in his review. It’s not perfect, of course, but the new Zelda game just might be. Aaron Souppouris reviewed Breath of the Wild this week, and found it a most worthy evolution of the Zelda series, and perhaps one of the best games he’s ever played.

And though much of the gaming world’s focus was on Nintendo recently, there was plenty of interesting, non-Switch related stuff happening at GDC. Nicole Lee got to play with LG’s prototype VR headset — powered by the same Valve technology used in HTC’s Vive — that aims to be the third option for PC based VR after the Vive and Oculus Rift. The highlight feature is the headset’s flip up eyepiece, and while the design is already looking good, LG will be refining it before it goes on sale. Before you ask, no, LG wouldn’t tell us when you’ll be able to buy one, nor how much it’ll cost. It wasn’t all VR at GDC, however, as Jess Conditt got a look at some of the weirdest controllers you’ll ever see at the Alt.Ctrl.GDC pavilion, and found that we’ll be seeing a lot of excellent sci-fi and cyberpunk themed games from indie devs in the not-so-distant future.

Finally, while Jess was checking out digital dystopian futures, Violet Blue was looking at our emerging dystopian present, where US Customs and Border Patrol can strongarm anyone entering the US into handing over the passwords to their phones and laptops. Oh, and we also got a look at President Trump’s proposed budget for the EPA this week, which will reduce the agency’s funding by 25%. I’m just estimating, but those cuts should correspondingly increase our abilities to destroy the environment by a significantly larger percentage. And, with those newly freed EPA dollars going to what’s already the largest defense budget in the world, we’ll be better equipped than ever to destroy each other!

It’s time.A peek inside the Nintendo Switch

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Now that the Switch has hit the streets, we’re finding out even more about it. iFixit took the system apart piece by piece, while a company that makes vinyl wraps has a warning about what you should put on the outside (spoiler: nothing with adhesive.)

Finally, we have some information about how Nintendo’s eShop games work on the new console, and it’s not very good. You can move purchased games from one system to another — as long as you deauthorize them on the old Switch first. Also, save games are locked in system memory, with no cloud backup or moving them to your microSD card.

That’s one way to make a good video game movie‘Sleeping Dogs’ movie will star Donnie Yen

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The cinematic adaptation of Sleeping Dogs is moving forward, and now we know that Ip Man and Rogue One actor Donnie Yen will play the lead. It’s not clear if Yen will play the game’s main character Shen — an undercover cop trying to take down gangsters in gangsters in Hong Kong — or someone else. No matter how closely it sticks to the source material, with his catalog of movies, the casting sounds like a good start, even if we’re still skeptical about videogame-to-movie adaptations.

ImpressiveMicrosoft’s differential downloads will make Windows Update downloads smaller

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Microsoft already announced tweaks for Windows Update that will (hopefully) keep it from interrupting you at the wrong time, and that’s not the only new thing. After the Creators Update arrives, users can expect much smaller downloads, thanks to differential download packages. Basically, instead of redownloading everything that’s changing, it uses the data from existing files where possible, which saves bandwidth and time.

At the GDC debut of ‘Full Throttle Remastered’Why Tim Schafer keeps remaking his classic games

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As it turns out, remixing his obsessions has always been key to Tim Schafer’s style. At GDC the game maker showed off Full Throttle Remastered complete with repainted animation and dialogue mastered from the original recordings. Check out Sean Buckley’s four-minute interview to see everything that’s new and old.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Boston Dynamics officially reveals its rolling ‘Handle’ robot
  • The Engadget Podcast Ep 30: I Can Change — YouTube TV, Uber’s embarrassing CEO and the Nintendo Switch!
  • Google Photos automatically fixes your pictures’ white balance
  • Let’s play ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’
  • Bad Password: The Border Patrol can take your password. Now what?
  • Toyota unveils its next-gen autonomous test vehicle

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t subscribe.

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